Did you know that, in 1985, no state had an adult (male and female) obesity rate higher than 15 percent? Now, every state is at 20 percent or more. Even though Connecticut has the nation’s 10th-lowest obesity rate, about 27 percent of men in the state are obese. This trend is a concern to weight loss surgeon Dr. Darren Tishler from the Hartford HealthCare Tallwood Men’s Health Center.
Q: Recent studies show that more women are being treated for obesity than men. Is this surprising to you?
A: I’m not surprised by that. In Connecticut, as in most states in the country, more than 30 percent of men are affected by obesity. However, only a small percentage of those men are actually seeking treatment. When you look at people who seek treatment for obesity, only about 15 to 20 percent of men affected by obesity are actually seeking the treatment that they need.
Q: What are the risks for men who do not seek treatment for obesity?
A: Obesity is a risk factor for a variety of serious health problems. The big ones that we think about are diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleep apnea. These conditions can lead to stroke, heart attack, blood clots and other issues that shorten a man’s lifespan. On top of that, the quality of life with obesity is impaired. I think one of the most important reasons that people seek treatment for obesity is to help them move better. And one of the biggest deterrents to good movement and living a long, healthy life is obesity.
Q: What are some of the treatment plans that can help men with obesity?
A: At the Tallwood Men’s Health Center, we have a variety of treatment options. It starts off with just medical treatment — using some medications, working with a variety of our psychologists and nutritionists to help with treatment of obesity. But we can go all the way up to various surgical options, including the traditional weight loss surgeries that we have available. It’s a multidisciplinary approach.
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